Not gonna lie, I'm quite curious as I think most people are in wanting to hear about how people achieved their dreams. Maybe we think that if we hear their story, that there'll be some morsel of advice or better, an elegant and easy-to-follow career path that somehow always results in success.
Having read so many autobiographies of racing drivers over the years, I can attest that the only common denominator that I could find in all of their paths to glory was that each and every aspiring driver at some point in their lives decided to take a gamble, to risk it all and to go for it. Persistence, hard work, creativity and all that other stuff comes later.
Whether it meant risking financial stability, marital comfort, personal safety, a stable career, deriving from societal norms and dogma, or not living up to familial expectations, whatever. If you're attempting to do anything great, an undeniable amount of commitment is needed. A lesson, even at age 29, that I'm now only beginning to truly understand.
I think the bottom line is that the path that each person takes is hardly ever identical. And when you think about it, why should something as glorious as your dream ever be so easy and clearly lain out? Because after all, for most people dreams exist only in a state of sleep or in a state of whimsical contemplation. To pluck that sucker from fantasy and to make it happen shouldn't be easy, otherwise the special importance surrounding the concept of 'the dream' would be diminished.
It's funny, in March of 2014 I began this blog to document my journey to the Pros. Quitting my cushy government job and boarding that plane to Canada felt like a true leap of faith. But as soon as I got back, the reality of getting older, of nearing the age of 30 and missing out on a stable career, promotions, thoughts about saving for retirement, a mortgage, love, etc began to swirl furiously around in my head.
I began looking for stable work to ensure that I had an exit strategy set up. I honestly believed that I could live my dream and play it safe. I began comparing myself to friends and other people my age (which is always a really horrible idea) and soon the fear of losing out, of going for it and failing started feeling so much more real and threatening. Somehow I suspect that a lot of kids with parents that had extremely high expectations for their children (and were constantly reminded of those expectations as they were growing up) can particularly relate.
And being completely honest, those thoughts scared the hell out of me. I worked hard for an education and to succeed at my prior places of work. And my immigrant parents also worked their asses off to raise and place me in a position to succeed. And now I was going to risk it all for a dream to go race cars. Sounds foolish, sounds selfish, sounds scary.
But here I am. Two and a half years wiser on this journey and I'm finally ready to commit. I've finally convinced myself to stop worrying about other people's expectations and to go ALL IN because this is what I love. And because life is short and the regret of never trying would probably haunt me to my grave.
Driving a race car is, and will always be a dangerous activity. It'll always be about winning and losing. About risk-taking, though calculated, but gambling nonetheless. If going ALL IN is what's truly required to drive a race car to glory, then I should most certainly treat this dream with the same amount of commitment and respect.
Time to stop half-assing it and to go ALL IN.